One of the most constant things in the world is change. These days, with the aid of technology, change is happening rapidly. One of the sectors in the industry where change is always happening is digital or internet marketing.
This online landscape is on the move, and new internet marketing trends have been emerging almost now and then.
According to statistics, only 61 percent of marketers believe that the strategies they have been using are productive while the rest seem to unsure of what they are doing.
If you have been using the same digital method to market your brand, products, or services in recent years, you might get left behind, and you may be limiting your online exposure.
Your efforts will be ineffective and be outdated. If you want to stay on top of your game, you must be quick to adopt and try to apply it to your strategies.
As the year 2020 stretched itself halfway through the finish line and as a new era rolls in alongside with it, here are some of the trends in internet marketing that you have to look out for this year.
1. Artificial Intelligence
One of the most leading technology innovation these days is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in almost everything. AI has slowly become mainstream and has been used even in our daily needs.
Either you have used a ride-hailing app recently, sent an inquiry in the middle of the night and received a response just seconds later, or used your voice to command your light to switch off; these are all integrated with AI.
When it comes to internet marketing, AI is making significant transformations in its strategies.
AI has made it possible to provide valuable insights for companies that are vital to its growth. It has also made advancements like chatbots that improve customer experience that helps the growth of a company.
The way you engage with your customers has also been shifting.
Many customers find it annoying when their concerns sent through instant messaging platforms like Messenger or chat boxes go unanswered within a few hours. It may affect their total customer experience with your brand.
Fortunately, one of the technological advancements that have emerged these days is the availability of chatbots.
Chatbots are AI tools that you can adopt to engage with your customers. It can provide answers to simple questions in the middle of the night.
The call for personalization has never been louder this year. A lot of big companies have been leaning on this internet marketing trend, and maybe even your competitors do it.
This strategy means that you have to make sure that your content, announcements, messages through emails, and even your products answer the need of your target market.
Technology has made it possible to know what your customers are looking for, thus making it easier for you to personalize your approach.
When you do personalization in reaching your customers, they tend to trust you more and think of your brand or product as an extension of themselves.
4. Shoppable posts
People spend a vast amount of time on their social media pages. Social media is one of the essential tools when it comes to internet marketing strategies.
With the growth of social media, it has given a lot of opportunities for many small businesses and startups to grow their brands and become a platform to bring their products and services to their audience.
Social media has also seen a lot of innovation, and of those that are likely to become prominent over the coming years is the shoppable posts.
It was launched by social media powerhouse, Instagram back in 2016 and has helped many brands to increase their sales. These interactive posts allowed users to browse, click, and shop with leaving the platform.
5. Video Marketing
If you have not been using video as part of your online marketing strategy, then you must do it now. It is one of the hottest trends these days, and it comes up with favorable results.
Almost 72 percent of businesses have said that they have seen improvement in their conversion rate because of video content.
A great video can always spice up your engagement and help the customer in their decision process. It can bring exponential value and deliver amazing results to your business, whatever your goals are – generate leads, increase sales, or build your online presence.
6. Direct Message Marketing
When you hear about Direct Message marketing, you might think about chatbots all the time, but it is more than about the use of it in your message.
Direct Message campaigns allow you to connect to your audience instantly. You can use it to promote your business, inform your audience about your ongoing sale, or to establish a connection with them.
If done correctly, without looking like a creep who’s ‘sliding into that DM,’ doing a direct message can develop a special relationship with your target market.
7. Influencer Marketing
You may have heard about influencer marketing a couple of times already and have seen how big brands utilized this trend over the past years.
It had been around some time already, but influencer marketing still matters up to these days. It has become widely accepted over the years as people see it to be authentic than any corporate marketing efforts.
8. Programmatic Advertising
Navigating the landscape of online advertising can be a real hassle for you. It is time-consuming and can be stressful.
With the advancement of technology, you can be free of this burden by leveraging on AI technology. AI can handle media buying, performance tracking, ad placement, and customer targeting for you.
Because it is automated and done by a machine, the result is faster and more accurate, leaving you ample time to focus on your other marketing campaigns.
9. Snippet Feature
Being on top of the search engine results have been the dream and the most coveted prize for all those making their SEO efforts.
But these days, being on top is not the real test whether you have made your SEO campaign a success. Today, it is about being in position zero and being on the snippet feature.
Snippet feature is said to be the holy grail of SEO. It aims to provide an answer to queries even without clicking on search results. Being on the snippet feature means more brand exposure and an increase in your online authority.
10. Consumer Experience
Gone are the days where advertising materials are all product-centered. In recent years, there had been a notable shift in how products where marketed. The spotlight is now on the user experience of every customer.
Customers are now looking for products, and they are not just waiting for products to pop up in their television sets or came across in a leaflet. They are doing their research, and they are making a comparison, which makes the competition even more robust.
When a customer finds you, they must have a positive experience. Your platform should be easy to navigate, have valuable content, efficient, and have smooth payment options.
11. Visual Content
Many people are visual learners. 65 percent of the world population belongs to these demographics. Though content is very crucial in your online marketing strategies, if you have been leveraging on social media, then you would know that visual content is your queen.
Posts with images can have 180 percent more engagement compared to all text-filled content. Visual content is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention and improve your engagement.
12. Voice Search
Voice searches may not be new in the market, but it has been making noise in recent years and will continue to do so. As AI technology gets more in-depth into our daily lives, these features have also been soaring.
Optimizing your website for voice search should always be included in your SEO to-do list. As it will drive more people to try it out in the coming days, it will be an excellent opportunity for you to expand your reach and spread brand awareness.
13. Smart Speakers
What is voice search without smart speakers? Smart speakers have become a household community for many smart homes.
Voice search and smart speakers have made an effect even on SEO strategies. These voice-enabled devices will soon flock the market, which will not only assist users in doing searches but also make purchases without opening their phones or their laptops.
14. Visual Search
From time to time, technology surprises us with new trends that our customer experience to a new level. A visual search may not be a grand feature like those of AR, but this can also become convenient as it can be.
A user will just have to take a photo, upload it to websites that allow visual search like Pinterest, and just wait for a minute before information popped up.
You can know where to find the item online and even find related topics.
15. Customer-Centered Focus
The customer is now the queen of every product. Customers are the number one element in making sure that your product will be the best that it can be.
Gone are the days when all marketers think is to deliver the message across your everybody without taking into consideration if it targets the correct audience.
Technology has changed the behavior of customers when it comes to purchasing any item. Reviews of an object are within reach, and the options to where to make a purchase can pop up in seconds.
Listen to what your target market says. Find out your audience’s problem and offer solutions that they need. Learn their interest, their hobbies, and even the time they are on the internet.
These may sound simple, but it would require you to think about customers often. When you do this, your efforts will equate with favorable results.
16. Interactive Contents
Many people see the brands that they are using to be an extension of themselves. And while these types of people will most likely follow you on your social media channels, you must keep them on the hook.
Posting engaging content can offer an immersive experience not only to your existing clientele but can attract prospective customers. You can use quizzes, polls, short clip videos, and even 360-degree virtual tours.
You can also bank on augmented reality ads that will surely catch the attention of your users.
17. Omnichannel Marketing
The rise of technology has link things that deemed to be impossible. A few years or even decades ago, online shopping and shopping from physical stores were a different experience.
These days, shopping between these two media seemed interconnected thanks to the coined methodology of omnichannel. Omnichannel is the seamless experience you provide your customers from their product research, inquiry up to their product acquisition.
A customer may have a look for your menu online to check on your daily specialty, calls your hotline of its availability, and drive through your store to pick it up. This holistic experience can make a big difference in your internet marketing.
18. Augmented Reality
If virtual reality is not enough, then we have augmented reality to try out. You may have heard about this innovation when the game “Pokémon GO” has made waves around the world. It was addictive, and establishments even held competitions as it elevates user experience.
For the same reason, some large companies like IKEA and Sephora have been utilizing AR to improve their user experience that may encourage customers to make a purchase.
IKEA Place, an augmented reality app, allows you to scan your room and place a virtual IKEA furniture so you can check it suits your taste before making a purchase.
Sephora Virtual Artist can scan your face and lets you try thousands of lipstick, blushes, eyeshadows, and other makeup products sold at Sephora.
19. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
People these days are in continued search for convenience. Many have already ditched their laptop and entirely rely on their phones. This behavior leads to the innovation of Progressive Web Apps or PWA.
PWA is a hybrid between a website and an app. Its functions are off like the native applications, but it acts as a responsive website that even works offline.
With the growth of mobile technology and the drive for customer-focused ideology, we can expect to see more companies and brands adopt this internet marketing trend.
20. Social Media Live Streaming and Stories
Video marketing is the king of content this year. It has helped many companies establish their online presence and increase their internet marketing engagement.
However, there are many options for your video marketing efforts, like live streaming and social media stories on Facebook or Instagram.
What makes these strategies work is that while on live streaming, it encourages two-way communication between you and your audience.
Stories, on the other hand, increases your constant engagement with your follower while it makes your brand appear fun and engaging with the use of filters and stickers.
Final Thoughts: Internet Marketing Trends
Your primary goals in your internet marketing efforts are to create a connection with your customers, establish your online presence, and make an incremental increase in your sales.
These goals may not have changed over the years, but the trends involved in internet marketing is continually evolving. Remember, be on your toes on these latest trends so you will not be left behind and get past by your competitors.
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Ramon has been writing about technology trends, entertainment, and gaming ever since he left the busy world of corporate HR Tech behind. He currently writes about software and user experiences for Softvire Australia – the leading software e-Commerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand. In his spare time, Ramon writes science fiction, collects little yellow men and plastic spaceships.